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About Russia

Nations of Russia

The Besermians

The Besermians name themselves the Beserman. They live in Russia in the Northwest of Udmurtiya, and also in the adjacent regions of the Kirov area. They live among the Udmurt, Tatar, Russian population in 41 settlements, where they are the majority of population.

Only 10 villages are completely inhabited by the Besermians. Their Language is an adverb of the Udmurt language. Most of the Besermians are the Orthodox, but there are some elements of Muslim and traditional representations. Russian annalistic sources of the 13th -15th centuries have recorded people under name the Besermjane on the river Volga and the river Kama.Probably, the Besermjane is the group of the Southern Udmurts, which have been under a strong and long the Turkic influence.

Probably, another group, which is related to Chuvashs, has joined the Besermians. Obviously, in the Volga Bulgaria the part of Southern Udmurt population has adopted an Islam and began to realize itself as something distinct from the Udmurt ethnos and has received the name "Besermians" (probably, going back to "Moslems"). The Besermians ran from the Mongol-Tatars into the Viatka forests and since then live among the Northern Udmurts, but have preserved the Southern Udmurt enunciation.

The Besermian traditional occupations were agriculture, cattle breeding and apiculture. They cultivated winter rye, barley, oats, flax, hemp; they were growing turnip, carrots, cabbage, and cucumbers. Until 1930th the neighbour's community was a basic social institute of the rural Besermians. Until the first quarter of the 20th century the Besermians had alongside with small family a big undivided families.

The Besermian women clothes had elements of the Chuvash costume. The men's costume had much in common with the Russian and Udmurt clothes.
The traditional food basically consists of products of agriculture: bread, pies and shan'ga with various stuffing, porridges, soups. The Besermians had advanced ceremonial poetry: calendar and folk songs, fairy tales, riddles. They have elements of traditional wedding ceremonialism: courtship, the marriage portion, gifts to the relatives. The main holiday of year was the spring holiday of a plough. In June 1992 Presidium of a Supreme Soviet of the Udmurt Republic has passed on the decision "On restoration of a historical name of the Besermians".


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